Truck driving not only requires you to be attentive and careful on the road, it also requires you to know how you will get to your destination, as well as know the fuel and truck stops along the way. You’ll also need to know where you can park for the night, how to approach your destination, which roads to avoid, where the loading docks are, and much more. Trucking GPS navigation units help make the daily life of truck drivers much easier.
While most drivers in a regular car don’t need to worry about whether they won’t make it under a bridge, it’s not so simple for truck drivers. Moving a large vehicle requires much more planning and effort on the part of the driver. This is why it’s important for drivers to know what is the best GPS for truckers and what is the best trucker GPS app. The right tools for the job can make all the difference.
Truck drivers have different needs from other drivers, which is why there are many GPS units designed especially for the trucking industry. Trucking GPS navigation helps truckers with the basics such as avoiding heavy traffic, finding the correct and fastest routes, staying confident on unfamiliar routes, and generally just makes your job less stressful and more enjoyable.
For truck drivers, finding the answer to “What is the best GPS for truckers?” isn’t just a nice convenience, it’s a necessity. Truck drivers have additional needs beyond the basics such as knowing which roads they need to steer clear of or avoiding bridges and underpasses that are too low. These units help drivers avoid excessive traffic, get quick weather updates, know where to find the best fuel prices, and more.
Some of the benefits of using a GPS for truckers include:
Saved time on routes
Reduced fuel costs
Improved safety on routes
Truck GPS navigation devices are different than the one you might use in your everyday car or truck. The screens are usually larger, study for everyday use, and offer more advanced, but necessary, features truck drivers need to safely and efficiently make it to their destination. Some of the main features of truck GPS navigation devices include:
Real-time traffic updates to keep on you track
Specialized trucking routes for the weight and dimensions of your truck
Estimates for toll road costs
Information on low bridges and overpasses
Help avoiding roads based on truck dimensions and weight
WiFi connectivity and the ability to work with speakers, backup cameras, and more
Help staying on approved roads for your vehicle
Help keeping your ELD up to date and correct
Semis have different requirements for where they can drive and where they cannot. Some loads have more limitations than others, such as Hazmat loads, which have very specific route regulations for safety. Getting a trucking GPS navigation unit helps you say on the correct route, get to your location safely, and avoid fines for taking the wrong road.
Finding the answer to “What is the best GPS for truckers?” actually has a lot of answers. What works for one driver may not work for you or may be more than you need or want. It’s important to not only compare the prices of trucking GPS navigation units but also to look at the features you want and need. Your GPS is an invaluable investment, and you should take your time finding the best one.
Cost: Aprox $280
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Description: This GPS is a handy 5” size with a glass display and dashboard mounting.
Features: Truck and trailer services directory so drivers can easily see which truck stops offer the amenities they need. You can even adjust it to your personal preferences. This trucking GPS navigation unit also offers Bluetooth capabilities, detailed maps, frequent updates, hands-free voice-activation, and spoken directions to keep you on track.
Cost: Aprox $370
Rating: 3.7 Stars
Description: Touchscreen with 7” display. Enhanced speakers allow you to easily hear directions while driving.
Features: This GPS features Active Lane Guidance, lifetime map updates, custom routes for truckers throughout Canada and the lower 48 states of the US, backup camera compatibility, and Bluetooth capabilities.
Cost: Aprox $450-$500
Rating: 3.9 Stars
Description: 7” HD screen with glass display.
Features: This trucking GPS navigation unit features a truck and trailers services directory, customized trucking routes, lifetime map updates, weigh station alerts, traffic and weather information, backup camera compatibility, and Bluetooth capabilities for hands-free use.
Cost: Aprox $400
Rating: 3.9 Stars
Description: 5” display screen.
Features: This trucking GPS navigation unit features updates on weather, fuel pricing, traffic, and travel centers along with assistance tracking fuel and mileage logs.
Cost: Aprox $390
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: 7” display screen with an adjustable speaker.
Features: This trucker GPS navigation unit features more comprehensive routing information than other GPS units. It offers WiFi connectivity, frequent route updates, wind speed updates, and helps drivers keep track of their past routes.
Cost: Aprox $150
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: large 7” touch screen display, with 800x400 pixels.
Features: This trucking GPS navigation unit provides drivers with current and up-to-date maps, 3D maps, as well as free maps for the US and Canada. You can even enter the weight and directions for your truck so you can get the best route for the type of load you’re hauling.
While trucking GPS navigation units can run a bit higher in price than regular trucking ones, it’s well worth the cost for customized features and heightened safety on the road. GPS units designed for trucks even allow you to enter your truck dimensions so you can plan routes that avoid low underpasses or have weight limits so you can get to your destination safely. Determine what is the best GPS for truckers by doing your research and finding the right one for your trucking needs.
For many drivers, a GPS unit on its own isn’t enough to give them the information they want or need. Many drivers like to use supplementary apps and Google Maps to ensure they have their location and approach nailed down. Plus, some apps offer additional information and features that GPS units simply don’t have, such as more information on truck stops, best places for truckers to get food, best places to stay the night, updates on whether stops are open, and even ratings from other truck drivers on what these places are like.
Some of the best trucker GPS apps include:
CoPilot Mobile Navigation/CoPilot GPS
inRoute Route Planner
Many truck drivers supplement their GPS units with additional apps for added features and benefits. There are some great trucking (and regular) GPS apps that help truckers plan their approach, and find great places to eat and rest along their route. But what is the best trucker GPS app? We’ve put together a quick list of the best free and paid apps truckers use to help them get the job done.
Perhaps the best trucker GPS app, or at least certainly one of the most popular GPS apps for truckers, Google Maps is well-known, offers frequent updates, and allows you to explore hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and share information with other drivers. Google Maps is available on both iOS and Android.
One of the best trucker GPS apps, Waze uses crowdsourcing to give truck drivers the most up-to-date information on routes, traffic, accidents, gas prices, road closures, and more. Waze provides automatic rerouting to keep you on the right track so you can get to your destination faster. While you do need internet access to use Waze, it’s a free app and available on iOS, Android, and Windows.
This app tops the list of the best trucker GPS apps. Trucker path helps drivers find the best rest stops, weigh stations, nearby Walmarts, truck washes, and more. Plus, it shows you where you can get the best fuel prices as well as user reviews from other truckers so you can have the smoothest and fastest route to your location. This app is available for iOS and Android devices and is free with in-app purchases.
This app is more comprehensive that Trucker Path, but it also costs $9.99 on iOS and Android for a one-month subscription. It allows drivers to enter their truck dimensions and weight before taking a trip, provides specific truck driver directions, and shows rest stops, weight stations, CAT scales, and even points of interest along your route. With over 16 million other truckers using this app, you can see why it’s one of the best trucker GPS apps around.
This best trucker GPS app allows you to see where your destination is using street view, satellite views, or even hybrid views. SmartTruckRoute shows you the fastest route to your destination, as well as affordable gas along the way, and automatic updates. The pricing is based on the subscription model you choose.
This free app has very accurate maps and helps drivers locate weight scales, truck stops, truck-friendly hotels and restaurants, and shows diesel price comparisons.
This is one of the best trucker GPS apps because it was made specifically for truckers, which means it provides route suggestions and updates based on the size, weight, and other restrictions of your vehicle. PTV Navigator also helps you keep your ELD up to date by tracking your mileage. The only downside to this app is that it is only available on Android and it’s $26.99. However, they do offer a 14-day free trial so you have plenty of time to decide if the app is right for your needs.
This route is available in the App Store for $14.99 and is ideal for long drives. It shows drivers where to stop for sleep and food, as well as updates on weather and road conditions.
The most popular free truck GPS app may simply be Google Maps. Many drivers like to supplement their other GPS apps or trucking GPS navigation units with Google Maps to get a close look at the delivery location before they go so they can plan their approach and even see exactly where the loading docks are. This allows you to avoid making a wrong turn or entering a property with no way to get your truck to the loading dock. Although the images and satellite map are useful, it’s important to keep in mind that Google Maps is not 100% accurate, depending on when the satellite photos were taken.
You can also use Google Maps to search truck stop locations, plan routes, find fuel, and share information with other truckers on the road. Some other great free apps include:
Trucker Path: Offers in-app purchases and is available for iOS and Android
Waze: Free, crowd-sourced app. Available on iOS, Android, and Windows
DAT Trucker: Free app available on the Google Play Store for Android
While each of these apps is great for helping you get to your destination, they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for your trucking GPS navigation, but rather as a supplement to it.
Most trucking GPS navigation units, including the best trucker GPS apps, include information on road conditions to keep you safe on the open road. Some of the best trucker GPS apps that provide information on weather and traffic updates include:
Try out different apps for road conditions to find the best one that works for you.
Although any GPS will give you directions, you can’t simply pop the GPS from your car into your truck and expect it to safely get you where you need to go. Trucker GPS navigation systems offer additional features to improve driver experience and efficiency, and get you to your location safely and on time.
Some unique trucking GPS navigation unit features include:
Diesel prices and locations
Points of interest for truck drivers
Truck parking locations
Truck driver restaurant locations
Live updates for weather and traffic
Safe truck routing based on load, size, and weight
While a regular GPS may have some of these features, they simply won’t cut it when it comes to helping you stick to routes your load is approved for. Many roads have weight or height limits that make using a regular GPS a dangerous option for truck drivers. If you’re driving a hazardous load, there are even more regulations to be aware of, and a detailed trucker GPS navigation unit makes all the difference.
The short and sweet answer is no, there’s no way to set a trucker mode for Google Maps. This is why you need to make sure you’re using a trucking GPS navigation unit designed specifically for truck driving. However, there are some excellent features you can use in conjunction with your GPS unit.
Google’s detailed maps make it easy for a lot of drivers to plan their approach to their destination, and it makes it easy to get location and business information.
Now that you know that answer to “What is the best GPS for truckers?” and “What is the best trucker GPS app?”, you’re ready to try them out and find the best one that works for you. Using trucking GPS navigation units and apps is important because it keeps you and others safe on the road.
Even if you have a great GPS unit and app, you should always keep a good physical map on hand—just in case. Finding the right trucking GPS navigation unit or app also helps you save money on gas and avoid unnecessary fines. Stay on the right road, no matter what type of trucking job you do.